An Unexpected Knife in the Dark

In the Lord Of The Rings, after leaving Bree Strider leads the Hobbits into the wild of the Lone Lands and to Weathertop, where they are attacked by five Nazgul . In their presence, Frodo succumbs to the overwhelming temptation to put on the Ring, but he resists their attempt to take him by drawing his sword and invoking the name of Elbereth Gilthoniel,. The Witch-king, Lord of the Nazgul, stab  Frodo in the shoulder with his blade, but Frodo's defiance and the appearance of Strider armed with flaming torch drives the Nazgul away. Frodo's wound appeared small, but the tip of the Witch-king's Morgul-knife remained in his body working its way toward his heart. Frodo became gravely ill as the Nazgul continues to pursue them in the Lone Lands and then Trollshaws, here they are met by the Elf-lord Glorfindel, who set Frodo upon his horse Asfaloth.

As the Nazgul come near, Asfaloth carries Frodo toward the Ford of Bruinen and the safety of Rivendell beyond. Once across the Ford, Frodo turns and see the Nine Nazgul on the other side. They command him to give up the Ring, but Frodo refused, saying, "By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!" The Nazgul are then swept away by a flood created by Elrond and Gandalf. Frodo awoke in Rivendell on October 24 and was surprised to find Gandalf at his bedside. Frodo had been healed by Lord Elrond, though the wound continued to trouble him for as long as he remained in Middle-earth. From this moment on Frodo has to learn to live with pain for the rest of his life. Despite the destruction of the Ring  and the end of Sauron, Frodo will never be the same. The pain of his shoulder flares-up every year around the anniversary of the attack of Weathertop. On the journey back to the Shire, Frodo, unlike the other hobbits, feels ill and cannot share the others' joy in returning home. When Gandalf notices Frodo's suffering, he asks: 

"Are you in pain, Frodo?" . . . . 

 "Well, yes I am," said Frodo. "It is my shoulder. The wound aches, and the memory of darkness is heavy on me. It was a year ago today." 

 "Alas! There are some wounds that cannot be wholly cured," said Gandalf. 

 "I fear that it may be so with mine," said Frodo. 

"There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?"

On September 21 of T.A. 3021 Frodo set out for the Grey Havens. One his way there he meets, Elrond, Galadriel, and Bilbo. On September 29 they came to the firth of Lhûn where Gandalf awaited them, and on the White Ship they cross  into the West. Frodo will spend the rest of his life in the bliss of Valinor where, it is said, his wound finally healed.

My choice of writing about Frodo's wound and his pain is not random today. I have been living with some acute pain in my shoulders, arms, and hands since last October, I even travelled to New Zealand in spite of it, hoping it would pass and go away, after all I am not old, I have a healthy life style, I do not smoke or drink and have a good diet, but deep down I kind of knew it was more serous this time. I always had a very high pain-barrier, but this pain was really hard to bare at times. For the past few months I have been living on a daily dose of strong painkillers, eagerly awaiting  for my hospital appointment to see a specialist doctor which finally took place yesterday.  In the end when the diagnoses came I guess I was too dazed and overwhelm by the whole experience - the doctor kept asking me if I understood my condition and what this means for the rest of my life , then noticing my confusion she simply said that I can ask her next time, telling me from now on we will  meet regularly to monitor me.

Hi I am a hobbit, my name is Leilani and I have RA ( which is short for Rheumatoid Arthritis ) - RA is a long-term ( life-long) condition caused by my immune system attacking my joints causing pain and stiffness. It is treatable with medication and therapy if caught early, but it is debilitating and defiantly a life-changing condition. RA can lead to more severe complications so for that reason I will need constant monitoring from now on. Am I still in shock as I sit here and write about this ? Yes I am! Only now it starting to sink in  that I am not the same hobbit I was back in October when the pain started. No one know why this condition occurs, it can happen to people of all ages. So what now ?  Well I am trying to stay positive, trying to see  if there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. I am no Frodo so I don't have the option to travel into the West, but I  can still do what I love and learn to live with RA. I can paint and write and read, and I can still travel and enjoy my new home and life even though I'll have to make some adjustments.  Many people live with this condition and if they can do it so I can and I will, and remembering always how much pain Frodo had to endure during  his life in Middle-earth is of comfort to me - Tolkien wanted us to know that pain and suffering are also part of the story, because there cannot be light without darkness - pain is inevitable sometime but suffering is optional.

The fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength” 
(J.K. Rowling, - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)


janitor said...

Don't worry Lei, things like these don't happen randomly. There have to be something there for you, or you wouldn't experience it. Maybe that's not what you want to hear, if it all seems unfair, and difficult and painful.

On the surface it might look like you lose freedom, but on the inside you may be gaining it, and that's where it all is.
I am sure you can figure it out, even if things don't turn out the way you wanted.

Much love from me. :-) said...

Beautifully written and inspiring

Leilani Amorey said...

Thank you for the kind words and thoughts I shall take one day at the time, learn as I go along and remember to smile :)